Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1265

Search results for: curricula improvement

1265 How to Integrate Sustainability in Technological Degrees: Robotics at UPC

Authors: Antoni Grau, Yolanda Bolea, Alberto Sanfeliu

Abstract:

Embedding Sustainability in technological curricula has become a crucial factor for educating engineers with competences in sustainability. The Technical University of Catalonia UPC, in 2008, designed the Sustainable Technology Excellence Program STEP 2015 in order to assure a successful Sustainability Embedding. This Program takes advantage of the opportunity that the redesign of all Bachelor and Master Degrees in Spain by 2010 under the European Higher Education Area framework offered. The STEP program goals are: to design compulsory courses in each degree; to develop the conceptual base and identify reference models in sustainability for all specialties at UPC; to create an internal interdisciplinary network of faculty from all the schools; to initiate new transdisciplinary research activities in technology-sustainability-education; to spread the know/how attained; to achieve international scientific excellence in technology-sustainability-education and to graduate the first engineers/architects of the new EHEA bachelors with sustainability as a generic competence. Specifically, in this paper authors explain their experience in leading the STEP program, and two examples are presented: Industrial Robotics subject and the curriculum for the School of Architecture.

Keywords: Sustainability, curricula improvement, robotics.

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1264 Knowledge and Skills Requirements for Software Developer Students

Authors: J. Liebenberg, M. Huisman, E. Mentz

Abstract:

It is widely acknowledged that there is a shortage of software developers, not only in South Africa, but also worldwide. Despite reports on a gap between industry needs and software education, the gap has mostly been explored in quantitative studies. This paper reports on the qualitative data of a mixed method study of the perceptions of professional software developers regarding what topics they learned from their formal education and the importance of these topics to their actual work. The analysis suggests that there is a gap between industry’s needs and software development education and the following recommendations are made: 1) Real-life projects must be included in students’ education; 2) Soft skills and business skills must be included in curricula; 3) Universities must keep the curriculum up to date; 4) Software development education must be made accessible to a diverse range of students.

Keywords: Software development education, Software industry, IT workforce, Computing curricula.

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1263 The Perspectives of Preparing Psychology Practitioners in Armenian Universities

Authors: L. Petrosyan

Abstract:

The problem of psychologist training remains a key priority in Armenia. During the Soviet period, the notion of a psychologist was obscure not only in Armenia but also in other Soviet republics. The breakup of the Soviet Union triggered a gradual change in this area activating the cooperation with specialists from other countries. The need for recovery from the psychological trauma caused by the 1988 earthquake pushed forward the development of practical psychology in Armenia. This phenomenon led to positive changes in perception of and interest to a psychologist profession.Armenian universities started designing special programs for psychologists’ preparation. Armenian psychologists combined their efforts in the field of training relevant specialists. During the recent years, the Bologna educational system was introduced in Armenia which led to implementation of education quality improvement programs. Nevertheless, even today the issue of psychologists’ training is not yet settled in Armenian universities. So far graduate psychologists haven’t got a clear idea of personal and professional qualities of a psychologist. Recently, as a result of educational reforms, the psychology curricula underwent changes, but so far they have not led to a desired outcome. Almost all curricula in certain specialties are aimed to form professional competencies and strengthen practical skills. A survey conducted in Armenia aimed to identify what are the ideas of young psychology specialists on the image of a psychologist. The survey respondents were 45 specialists holding bachelor’s degree as well as 30 master degree graduates, who have not been working yet. The research reveals that we need to change the approach of preparing psychology practitioners in the universities of Armenia. Such an approach to psychologist training will make it possible to train qualified specialists for enhancement of modern psychology theory and practice.

Keywords: Practitioners, Psychology Degree, study, professional competencies.

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1262 Improvement of Deficient Soils in Nigeria Using Bagasse Ash: A Review

Authors: Musa Alhassan, Alhaji Mohammed Mustapha

Abstract:

Review of studies carried out on the use of bagasse ash for the improvement of deficient soils in Nigeria, with emphasis on lateritic and black cotton soils is presented. Although, the bagasse ash is mostly used as additive to the conventional soil stabilizers (cement and lime), the studies generally showed improvement in the geotechnical properties of the soils, either modified or stabilized with the ash. This showed the potentials of using this agricultural waste (bagasse ash) in the improvement of geotechnical properties of deficient soils, thus suggesting that using this material at large scale level in geotechnical engineering practice could help in the provision of stable and durable structures, reduce cost of soil improvement and also reduces environmental nuisance caused by the unused waste in Nigeria.

Keywords: Bagasse ash, Black cotton soil, Deficient soil, Laterite, Soil improvement.

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1261 Meaningful General Education Reform: Integrating Core Curricula and Institutional Values

Authors: Michael W. Markowitz

Abstract:

A central element of higher education today is the “core” or “general education” curriculum: that configuration of courses that often encompasses the essence of liberal arts education. Ensuring that such offerings reflect the mission and values of the institution is a challenge faced by most college and universities, often more than once. This paper presents an action model of program planning designed to structure the processes of developing, implementing and revising core curricula in a manner consistent with key institutional goals and objectives. Through presentation of a case study from a university in the United States, the elements of needs assessment, stakeholder investment and collaborative compromise are shown as key components of a planning strategy that can produce a general education program that is comprehensive, academically rigorous, assessable, and mission consistent. The paper concludes with recommendations for both the implementation and evaluation of such programs in practice.

Keywords: Academic assessment, academic program planning, curriculum development, general education reform.

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1260 An Exploration on Competency-Based Curricula in Integrated Circuit Design

Authors: Chih Chin Yang, Chung Shan Sun

Abstract:

In this paper the relationships between professional competences and school curriculain IC design industry are explored. The semi-structured questionnaire survey and focus group interview is the research method. Study participants are graduates of microelectronics engineering professional departments who are currently employed in the IC industry. The IC industries are defined as the electronic component manufacturing industry and optical-electronic component manufacturing industry in the semiconductor industry and optical-electronic material devices, respectively. Study participants selected from IC design industry include IC engineering and electronic & semiconductor engineering. The human training with IC design professional competence in microelectronics engineering professional departments is explored in this research. IC professional competences of human resources in the IC design industry include general intelligence and professional intelligence.

Keywords: IC design, curricula, competence, task, duty.

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1259 Exploration and Exploitation within Operations

Authors: D. Gåsvaer, L. Stålberg, A. Fundin, M. Jackson, P. Johansson

Abstract:

Exploration and exploitation capabilities are both important within Operations as means for improvement when managed separately, and for establishing dynamic improvement capabilities when combined in balance. However, it is unclear what exploration and exploitation capabilities imply in improvement and development work within an Operations context. So, in order to better understand how to develop exploration and exploitation capabilities within Operations, the main characteristics of these constructs needs to be identified and further understood. Thus, the objective of this research is to increase the understanding about exploitation and exploration characteristics, to concretize what they translates to within the context of improvement and development work in an Operations unit, and to identify practical challenges. A literature review and a case study are presented. In the literature review, different interpretations of exploration and exploitation are portrayed, key characteristics have been identified, and a deepened understanding of exploration and exploitation characteristics is described. The case in the study is an Operations unit, and the aim is to explore to what extent and in what ways exploration and exploitation activities are part of the improvement structures and processes. The contribution includes an identification of key characteristics of exploitation and exploration, as well as an interpretation of the constructs. Further, some practical challenges are identified. For instance, exploration activities tend to be given low priority, both in daily work as in the manufacturing strategy. Also, the overall understanding about the concepts of exploitation and exploration (or any similar aspect of dynamic improvement capabilities) is very low.

Keywords: Exploitation, Exploration, Improvement, Lean production, Manufacturing.

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1258 Improvement of Learning Motivation and Negotiation of Learning Disorders of Students Using Integrative Teaching Methodology

Authors: Juris Porozovs, Daina Voita, Anda Kauliņa, Toms Voits, Evita Vaļēviča

Abstract:

Integrative teaching methodology is based on connecting and summarizing knowledge from different subjects in order to create better understanding of different disciplines and improvement of competences in general. Integrative teaching methodology was implemented and realised during one academic year in 17 Latvian schools according with specially worked out programme by specialists of different fields for adaptation in social environment of children and young people with learning, cognitive functions and motor disorders. Implemented integrative teaching methodology consisted from three subsections which were specialised for adaptation in social environment, improvement of cognitive functions and improvement and harmonization of personality. The results of investigation showed that the use of integrative teaching methodology is an effective way for improvement of learning motivation and negotiation of learning disorders of different age schoolchildren.

Keywords: Adaptation in social environment, integrative teaching methodology, learning disorders, learning motivation.

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1257 Six Sigma Solutions and its Benefit-Cost Ratio for Quality Improvement

Authors: S. Homrossukon, A. Anurathapunt

Abstract:

This is an application research presenting the improvement of production quality using the six sigma solutions and the analyses of benefit-cost ratio. The case of interest is the production of tile-concrete. Such production has faced with the problem of high nonconforming products from an inappropriate surface coating and had low process capability based on the strength property of tile. Surface coating and tile strength are the most critical to quality of this product. The improvements followed five stages of six sigma solutions. After the improvement, the production yield was improved to 80% as target required and the defective products from coating process was remarkably reduced from 29.40% to 4.09%. The process capability based on the strength quality was increased from 0.87 to 1.08 as customer oriented. The improvement was able to save the materials loss for 3.24 millions baht or 0.11 million dollars. The benefits from the improvement were analyzed from (1) the reduction of the numbers of non conforming tile using its factory price for surface coating improvement and (2) the materials saved from the increment of process capability. The benefit-cost ratio of overall improvement was high as 7.03. It was non valuable investment in define, measure, analyses and the initial of improve stages after that it kept increasing. This was due to there were no benefits in define, measure, and analyze stages of six sigma since these three stages mainly determine the cause of problem and its effects rather than improve the process. The benefit-cost ratio starts existing in the improve stage and go on. Within each stage, the individual benefitcost ratio was much higher than the accumulative one as there was an accumulation of cost since the first stage of six sigma. The consideration of the benefit-cost ratio during the improvement project helps make decisions for cost saving of similar activities during the improvement and for new project. In conclusion, the determination of benefit-cost ratio behavior through out six sigma implementation period provides the useful data for managing quality improvement for the optimal effectiveness. This is the additional outcome from the regular proceeding of six sigma.

Keywords: Six Sigma Solutions, Process Improvement, QualityManagement, Benefit Cost Ratio

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1256 Kaikaku - Radical Improvement in Production

Authors: D. Gåsvaer, J. von Axelson

Abstract:

Considering today-s increasing speed of change, radical and innovative improvement - Kaikaku, is a necessity parallel to continuous incremental improvement - Kaizen, especially for SME-s in order to attain the competitive edge needed to be profitable. During 2011, a qualitative single case study with the objective of realizing a kaikaku in production has been conducted. The case study was run as a one year project using a collaborative approach including both researchers and company representatives. The case study was conducted with the purpose of gaining further knowledge about kaikaku realization as well as its implications. The empirical results provide insights about the great productivity results achieved by applying a specific kaikaku realization approach. However, it also sheds light on the difficulty and contradiction of combining innovation management and production system development.

Keywords: Kaikaku, Radical improvement, manufacturing, innovation capability

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1255 Improvement of Bit-Error-Rate in Optical Fiber Receivers

Authors: Hadj Bourdoucen, Amer Alhabsi

Abstract:

In this paper, a post processing scheme is suggested for improvement of Bit Error-Rate (BER) in optical fiber transmission receivers. The developed scheme has been tested on optical fiber systems operating with a non-return-to-zero (NRZ) format at transmission rates of up to 10Gbps. The transmission system considered is based on well known transmitters and receivers blocks operating at wavelengths in the region of 1550 nm using a standard single mode fiber. Performance of improved detected signals has been evaluated via the analysis of quality factor and computed bit error rates. Numerical simulations have shown a noticeable improvement of the system BER after implementation of the suggested post processing operation on the detected electrical signals.

Keywords: BER improvement, Optical fiber, transmissionperformance, NRZ.

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1254 Marital Interactions in Predicting Treatment Outcome in Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia

Authors: Ghassan El-Baalbaki, Claude Bélanger, Michel Perreault, Steffany J. Fredman, Donald H. Baucom

Abstract:

This study had two goals. First, it investigated marital interaction variables as predictors of treatment outcome in panic disorder with agoraphobia (PDA) in sixty-five couples with one spouse suffering from PDA. Second, it analyzed the impact of PDA improvement, following therapy, on marital interaction patterns of both spouses. The partners were observed during a problem-solving task, before and after treatment. Negative behaviors at the outset of therapy, both in the PDA and the NPDA partners, predicted less improvement at post-test. It also appears that improvement in some PDA symptoms following therapy is linked to increase in the dominant behavior of the NPDA spouse and to an improvement in terms of his intrusiveness.

Keywords: Communication and problem-solving skills, Emotional overinvolvement, Marital relationship, Panic disorder withagoraphobia, Treatment outcome.

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1253 Importance of Standards in Engineering and Technology Education

Authors: Ahmed S. Khan, Amin Karim

Abstract:

During the past several decades, the economy of each nation has been significantly affected by globalization and technology. Government regulations and private sector standards affect a majority of world trade. Countries have been working together to establish international standards in almost every field. As a result, workers in all sectors need to have an understanding of standards. Engineering and technology students must not only possess an understanding of engineering standards and applicable government codes, but also learn to apply them in designing, developing, testing and servicing products, processes and systems. Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET) criteria for engineering and technology education require students to learn and apply standards in their class projects. This paper is a follow-up of a 2006-2009 NSF initiative awarded to IEEE to help develop tutorials and case study modules for students and encourage standards education at college campuses. It presents the findings of a faculty/institution survey conducted through various U.S.-based listservs representing the major engineering and technology disciplines. The intent of the survey was to the gauge the status of use of standards and regulations in engineering and technology coursework and to identify benchmark practices. In light of survey findings, recommendations are made to standards development organizations, industry, and academia to help enhance the use of standards in engineering and technology curricula.

Keywords: Standards, regulations, ABET, IEEE, engineering and technology curricula.

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1252 Using Technology with a New Model of Management Development by Simulation of Neural Network and its Application on Intelligent Schools

Authors: Ahmad Ghayoumi, Mehdi Ghayoumi

Abstract:

Intelligent schools are those which use IT devices and technologies as media software, hardware and networks to improve learning process. On the other hand management improvement is best described as the process from which managers learn and improve their skills not only to benefit themselves but also their employing organizations Here, we present a model Management improvement System that has been applied on some schools and have made strict improvement.

Keywords: Intelligent school, Management development system, Learning station, Teaching station

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1251 A New Precautionary Method for Measurement and Improvement the Data Quality

Authors: Seyed Mohammad Hossein Moossavizadeh, Mehran Mohsenzadeh, Nasrin Arshadi

Abstract:

the data quality is a kind of complex and unstructured concept, which is concerned by information systems managers. The reason of this attention is the high amount of Expenses for maintenance and cleaning of the inefficient data. Such a data more than its expenses of lack of quality, cause wrong statistics, analysis and decisions in organizations. Therefor the managers intend to improve the quality of their information systems' data. One of the basic subjects of quality improvement is the evaluation of the amount of it. In this paper, we present a precautionary method, which with its application the data of information systems would have a better quality. Our method would cover different dimensions of data quality; therefor it has necessary integrity. The presented method has tested on three dimensions of accuracy, value-added and believability and the results confirm the improvement and integrity of this method.

Keywords: Data quality, precaution, information system, measurement, improvement.

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1250 Impovement of a Label Extraction Method for a Risk Search System

Authors: Shigeaki Sakurai, Ryohei Orihara

Abstract:

This paper proposes an improvement method of classification efficiency in a classification model. The model is used in a risk search system and extracts specific labels from articles posted at bulletin board sites. The system can analyze the important discussions composed of the articles. The improvement method introduces ensemble learning methods that use multiple classification models. Also, it introduces expressions related to the specific labels into generation of word vectors. The paper applies the improvement method to articles collected from three bulletin board sites selected by users and verifies the effectiveness of the improvement method.

Keywords: Text mining, Risk search system, Corporate reputation, Bulletin board site, Ensemble learning

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1249 Indigenous Knowledge and Nature of Science Interface: Content Considerations for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education

Authors: Mpofu Vongai, Vhurumuku Elaosi

Abstract:

Many African countries, such as Zimbabwe and South Africa, have curricula reform agendas that include incorporation of Indigenous Knowledge and Nature of Science (NOS) into school Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. It is argued that at high school level, STEM learning, which incorporates understandings of indigenization science and NOS, has the potential to provide a strong foundation for a culturally embedded scientific knowledge essential for their advancement in Science and Technology. Globally, investment in STEM education is recognized as essential for economic development. For this reason, developing countries such as Zimbabwe and South Africa have been investing into training specialized teachers in natural sciences and technology. However, in many cases this training has been detached from the cultural realities and contexts of indigenous learners. For this reason, the STEM curricula reform has provided implementation challenges to teachers. An issue of major concern is the teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), which is essential for effective implementation of these STEM curricula. Well-developed Teacher PCK include an understanding of both the nature of indigenous knowledge (NOIK) and of NOS. This paper reports the results of a study that investigated the development of 3 South African and 3 Zimbabwean in-service teachers’ abilities to integrate NOS and NOIK as part of their PCK. A participatory action research design was utilized. The main focus was on capturing, determining and developing teachers STEM knowledge for integrating NOIK and NOS in science classrooms. Their use of indigenous games was used to determine how their subject knowledge for STEM and pedagogical abilities could be developed. Qualitative data were gathered through the use dialogues between the researchers and the in-service teachers, as well as interviewing the participating teachers. Analysis of the data provides a methodological window through which in-service teachers’ PCK can be STEMITIZED and their abilities to integrate NOS and NOIK developed. Implications are raised for developing teachers’ STEM education in universities and teacher training colleges.

Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, nature of science, pedagogical content knowledge, STEM education.

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1248 Comparison of Three Meta Heuristics to Optimize Hybrid Flow Shop Scheduling Problem with Parallel Machines

Authors: Wahyudin P. Syam, Ibrahim M. Al-Harkan

Abstract:

This study compares three meta heuristics to minimize makespan (Cmax) for Hybrid Flow Shop (HFS) Scheduling Problem with Parallel Machines. This problem is known to be NP-Hard. This study proposes three algorithms among improvement heuristic searches which are: Genetic Algorithm (GA), Simulated Annealing (SA), and Tabu Search (TS). SA and TS are known as deterministic improvement heuristic search. GA is known as stochastic improvement heuristic search. A comprehensive comparison from these three improvement heuristic searches is presented. The results for the experiments conducted show that TS is effective and efficient to solve HFS scheduling problems.

Keywords: Flow shop, genetic algorithm, simulated annealing, tabu search.

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1247 Decision Making about the Environmental Management Implementation – Incentives and Expectations

Authors: Eva Štěpánková

Abstract:

Environmental management implementation is presently one of the ways of organization success and value improvement. Increasing an organization motivation to environmental measures introduction is caused primarily by the rising pressure of the society that generates various incentives to endeavor for the environmental performance improvement. The aim of the paper is to identify and characterize the key incentives and expectations leading organizations to the environmental management implementation. The author focuses on five businesses of different size and field, operating in the Czech Republic. The qualitative approach and grounded theory procedure are used in research. The results point out that the significant incentives for environmental management implementation represent primarily demands of customers, the opportunity to declare the environmental commitment and image improvement. The researched enterprises less commonly expect the economical contribution, competitive advantage increase or export rate improvement. The results show that marketing contributions are primarily expected from the environmental management implementation.

Keywords: Environmental management, environmental management systems, ISO 14001.

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1246 Fast Accurate Detection of Frequency Jumps Using Kalman Filter with Non Linear Improvements

Authors: Mahmoud E. Mohamed, Ahmed F. Shalash, Hanan A. Kamal

Abstract:

In communication systems, frequency jump is a serious problem caused by the oscillators used. Kalman filters are used to detect that jump, despite the tradeoff between the noise level and the speed of the detection. In this paper, an improvement is introduced in the Kalman filter, through a nonlinear change in the bandwidth of the filter. Simulation results show a considerable improvement in the filter speed with a very low noise level. Additionally, the effect on the response to false alarms is also presented and false alarm rate show improvement.

Keywords: Kalman Filter, Innovation, False Detection.

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1245 A Methodology for Quality Problems Diagnosis in SMEs

Authors: Humberto N. Teixeira, Isabel S. Lopes, Sérgio D. Sousa

Abstract:

This article proposes a new methodology to be used by SMEs (Small and Medium enterprises) to characterize their performance in quality, highlighting weaknesses and area for improvement. The methodology aims to identify the principal causes of quality problems and help to prioritize improvement initiatives. This is a self-assessment methodology that intends to be easy to implement by companies with low maturity level in quality. The methodology is organized in six different steps which includes gathering information about predetermined processes and subprocesses of quality management, defined based on the well-known Juran-s trilogy for quality management (Quality planning, quality control and quality improvement) and, predetermined results categories, defined based on quality concept. A set of tools for data collecting and analysis, such as interviews, flowcharts, process analysis diagrams and Failure Mode and effects Analysis (FMEA) are used. The article also presents the conclusions obtained in the application of the methodology in two cases studies.

Keywords: Continuous improvement, Diagnosis, Quality Management, Self-assessment, SMEs

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1244 Software Process Improvement: A Organizational Change that Need to be Managed and Motivated

Authors: Marília Guterres Ferreira, Raul Sidnei Wazlawick

Abstract:

As seen in literature, about 70% of the improvement initiatives fail, and a significant number do not even get started. This paper analyses the problem of failing initiatives on Software Process Improvement (SPI), and proposes good practices supported by motivational tools that can help minimizing failures. It elaborates on the hypothesis that human factors are poorly addressed by deployers, especially because implementation guides usually emphasize only technical factors. This research was conducted with SPI deployers and analyses 32 SPI initiatives. The results indicate that although human factors are not commonly highlighted in guidelines, the successful initiatives usually address human factors implicitly. This research shows that practices based on human factors indeed perform a crucial role on successful implantations of SPI, proposes change management as a theoretical framework to introduce those practices in the SPI context and suggests some motivational tools based on SPI deployers experience to support it.

Keywords: Change management, human factors, motivation, software process improvement.

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1243 Knowledge Impact on Measurement: A Conceptual Metric for Evaluating Performance Improvement (PI) at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR)

Authors: AlMatrouk H. S., Juszczak M. D.

Abstract:

Research and development R&D work involves enormous amount of work that has to do with data measurement and collection. This process evolves as new information is fed, new technologies are utilized, and eventually new knowledge is created by the stakeholders i.e., researchers, clients, and end-users. When new knowledge is created, procedures of R&D work should evolve and produce better results within improved research skills and improved methods of data measurements and collection. This measurement improvement should then be benchmarked against a metric that should be developed at the organization. In this paper, we are suggesting a conceptual metric for R&D work performance improvement (PI) at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR). This PI is to be measured against a set of variables in the suggested metric, which are more closely correlated to organizational output, as opposed to organizational norms. The paper also mentions and discusses knowledge creation and management as an addedvalue to R&D work and measurement improvement. The research methodology followed in this work is qualitative in nature, based on a survey that was distributed to researchers and interviews held with senior researchers at KISR. Research and analyses in this paper also include looking at and analyzing KISR-s literature.

Keywords: Knowledge Creation, Performance Improvement (PI), Conceptual Metric, Knowledge Management (KM) addedvalue.

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1242 Reliability Improvement with Optimal Placement of Distributed Generation in Distribution System

Authors: N. Rugthaicharoencheep, T. Langtharthong

Abstract:

This paper presents the optimal placement and sizing of distributed generation (DG) in a distribution system. The problem is to reliability improvement of distribution system with distributed generations. The technique employed to solve the minimization problem is based on a developed Tabu search algorithm and reliability worth analysis. The developed methodology is tested with a distribution system of Roy Billinton Test System (RBTS) bus 2. It can be seen from the case study that distributed generation can reduce the customer interruption cost and therefore improve the reliability of the system. It is expected that our proposed method will be utilized effectively for distribution system operator.

Keywords: Distributed generation Optimization technique Reliability improvement, Distribution system.

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1241 Numerical Investigation on Load Bearing Capacity of Pervious Concrete Piles as an Alternative to Granular Columns

Authors: Ashkan Shafee, Masoud Ghodrati, Ahmad Fahimifar

Abstract:

Pervious concrete combines considerable permeability with adequate strength, which makes it very beneficial in pavement construction and also in ground improvement projects. In this paper, a single pervious concrete pile subjected to vertical and lateral loading is analysed using a verified three dimensional finite element code. A parametric study was carried out in order to investigate load bearing capacity of a single unreinforced pervious concrete pile in saturated soft soil and also gain insight into the failure mechanism of this rather new soil improvement technique. The results show that concrete damaged plasticity constitutive model can perfectly simulate the highly brittle nature of the pervious concrete material and considering the computed vertical and horizontal load bearing capacities, some suggestions have been made for ground improvement projects.

Keywords: Concrete damaged plasticity, ground improvement, load bearing capacity, pervious concrete pile.

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1240 Applying 5S Lean Technology: An Infrastructure for Continuous Process Improvement

Authors: Raid A. Al-Aomar

Abstract:

This paper presents an application of 5S lean technology to a production facility. Due to increased demand, high product variety, and a push production system, the plant has suffered from excessive wastes, unorganized workstations, and unhealthy work environment. This has translated into increased production cost, frequent delays, and low workers morale. Under such conditions, it has become difficult, if not impossible, to implement effective continuous improvement studies. Hence, the lean project is aimed at diagnosing the production process, streamlining the workflow, removing/reducing process waste, cleaning the production environment, improving plant layout, and organizing workstations. 5S lean technology is utilized for achieving project objectives. The work was a combination of both culture changes and tangible/physical changes on the shop floor. The project has drastically changed the plant and developed the infrastructure for a successful implementation of continuous improvement as well as other best practices and quality initiatives.

Keywords: 5S Technique, Continuous Improvement, Kaizen, Lean Technology, Work Methods, Work Standards

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1239 The Evolution of Quality Improvement Methodology in Malaysia-s IT Industry: The Past, Current and Future

Authors: Whee Yen Wong, Kim Yeow Tshai, Chan Wai Lee

Abstract:

There are various approaches to implement quality improvements. Organizations aim for a management standard which is capable of providing customers with quality assurance on their product/service via continuous process improvement. Carefully planned steps are necessary to ensure the right quality improvement methodology (QIM) and business operations are consistent, reliable and truly meet the customers' needs. This paper traces the evolution of QIM in Malaysia-s Information Technology (IT) industry in the past, current and future; and highlights some of the thought of researchers who contributed to the science and practice of quality, and identifies leading methodologies in use today. Some of the misconceptions and mistakes leading to quality system failures will also be examined and discussed. This paper aims to provide a general overview of different types of QIMs available for IT businesses in maximizing business advantages, enhancing product quality, improving process routines and increasing performance earnings.

Keywords: Evolution, Integrating and Aligning, Malaysia's Quality Improvement Methodology, Six Sigma Data Quality Management.

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1238 Packaging Improvement for Unit Cell Vanadium Redox Flow Battery (V-RFB)

Authors: A. C. Khor, M. R. Mohamed, M. H. Sulaiman, M. R. Daud

Abstract:

Packaging for vanadium redox flow battery is one of the key elements for successful implementation of flow battery in the electrical energy storage system. Usually the bulky battery size and low energy densities make this technology not available for mobility application. ThereforeRFB with improved packaging size and energy capacity are highly desirable. This paper focuses on the study of packaging improvement for unit cell V-RFB to the application on Series Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Two different designs of 25cm2 and 100cm2 unit cell V-RFB at same current density are used for the sample in this investigation. Further suggestions on packaging improvement are highlighted.

Keywords: Electric vehicle, Redox flow battery, Packaging, Vanadium.

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1237 Towards a Competence Management Approach Based on Continuous Improvement

Authors: N. Sefiani, C. Fikri Benbrahim, A. Boumane, K. Reklaoui

Abstract:

Nowadays, the reflection on competence management is the basic for new competitive strategies. It is considered as the core of the problems of the global supply chain. It interact a variety of actors: information, physical and activities flows, etc. Even though competence management is seen as the key factor for any business success, the existing approaches demonstrate the deficiencies and limitations of the competence concept. This research has two objectives: The first is to make a contribution by focusing on the development of a competence approach, based on continuous improvement. It allows the enterprise to spot key competencies, mobilize them in order to serve its strategic objectives and to develop future competencies. The second is to propose a method to evaluate the Level of Collective Competence. The approach was confirmed through an application carried out at an automotive company.

Keywords: Competencies, approach, continuous improvement, collective competence level, performance indicator.

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1236 Improvement of the Quality of Internet Service Based On an Internet Exchange Point (IXP)

Authors: Souleymane Oumtanaga, Falilu Abudul Kadiri

Abstract:

Internet is without any doubt the fastest and effective mean of communication making it possible to reach a great number of people in the world. It draws its base from exchange points. Indeed exchange points are used to inter-connect various Internet suppliers and operators in order to allow them to exchange traffic and it is with these interconnections that Internet made its great strides. They thus make it possible to limit the traffic delivered via the operators of transits. This limitation allows a significant improvement of the quality of service, a reduction in the latency time just as a reduction of the cost of connection for the final subscriber. Through this article we will show how the installation of an IXP allows an improvement and a diversification of the services just as a reduction of the Internet connection costs.

Keywords: Quality of service, Exchange point, interconnection, Service providers, bandwidth, traffic, routers, routing table.

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